Yesterday, after much anticipation, the first political top-level domain (TLD), .gop, was fully rolled out and made available to the public for name registration. Now anyone, anywhere, can purchase a website ending in .gop and officially associate their cause with the United States Republican Party for as little as $20.16 (or as much as thousands of dollars or more, for some of the more enviable domain names).
According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that seeks to elect Republicans to state-level offices, created the new top-level domain in an effort to build the GOP’s online community, and to give the party’s online fundraising efforts a leg up.”
This can only be a boon for liberals and conservatives alike. With this new domain’s availability, liberals get to poke fun at conservative politics, possibly chipping away at what thread of legitimacy the party has left, and the GOP gets to pocket the proceeds to fund their agenda. If I wasn’t so opposed to the idea of financially supporting the Republican Party, I’d join in the fun myself! Of course, my personal favorite domain suggestion, legitimaterape.gop (a reference, of course, to the rhetoric of Todd Akin) is not available for purchase. Perhaps an automatic filter blacklisted it?
It was a sad day for Todd Akin fans.
What gets me the most, though, about the new .gop TLD, is the degree of smugness projected by the people spearheading the project. From announcement to roll-out, the GOP has been tooting its own horn about being the first to think of the idea, taking joy when Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina expressed chagrin that Democrats did not think of their own TLD, and lauding themselves as internet trailblazers who dared to guide us to the future of internet politics. The official website for the project, join.gop, has the tagline “it starts right here.” These guys sincerely believe they’re boldly going where no party has gone before, and they’re making sure everybody knows it.
You can view the announcement video for .gop below, reeking of that smug self-sense of innovation and iconoclasm.
United States Republican Party: Think different.
Is the new domain a terrible idea, doomed to become a playground for liberal mockery? Or is it a new beginning for the GOP, an opportunity to better disseminate conservative thought and create good PR for the party?
Only time will tell. But in the meantime, grab your popcorn: the possibilities are virtually boundless.
What’s your favorite .gop domain idea? Share your thoughts, ideas and images in the comments below.